Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day: Obama vs. Limbaugh, Beck

The Christian Science Monitor has a couple posts contrasting how Pres. Obama and Rush Limbaugh each celebrated Earth Day yesterday. While Pres. Obama was in Iowa visiting a green manufacturing facility that builds wind turbines, Limbaugh, on his show, celebrated the plastic grocery bag, coal miners, and the gasoline-powered automobile. And in a similar contrasting piece, the CSM quotes Limbaugh:
Meanwhile Rush Limbaugh announced on his radio program that he will personally see to it that he destroys two acres of rain forest.

“What else am I going to do for Earth Day?” he asked. “I’m going to have every one of my cars driven as much as possible today; I’ve got my airplane flying to Los Angeles and back; … all the lights are going to be on, the air conditioning down to 68 degrees in all, well, four out of the five houses — the property manager in [the fifth house] likes the temperature down to 65 degrees.”

Limbaugh's flippant attitude towards Earth Day was outshadowed by Glenn Beck. Beck, apparently, had a "forest manager" on his radio show who, while on air, cut down several trees at the request of a gleeful Beck, obviously meant to enrage progressive environmentalists.


Linda said...

Ok - you provided info. Now, what do you think? =)

What I think? Although Earth Day has turned into a commercial affair, I believe that what Limbaugh and Beck did was immature and subversive. The message was deeper than appears on the surface, perhaps symbolic? When cutting down a tree, they were cutting down Obama? Or (in a spate of curiousness where I usually don't expend energy), am I giving Limbaugh and Beck too much credit for "deep thinking"?

Drew said...

I think that Limbaugh and Beck weren't cutting down Obama per se, but liberalism. I bet, they all didn't know what each was doing, and the Christian Science Monitor put the picture together. I think that Limbaugh and Beck, unfortunately, consider that environmentalism and global warming are liberal conspiracies, and therefore, they went out of their way to flippantly, yet symbolically, attack the notion of Earth Day. Does that make sense?

Linda said...

Unfortunately - and I think I read a comment pertaining to this perspective elsewhere on your blog - it seems that global warming issues have been relegated to the "left side of the fence" as you say. But, when air quality degrades, this air quality affects everyone, no matter their political leaning.

Today was the first day in three months that I had to post an air quality warning for Richmond to Winchester, including down the James River to Roanoke. The reason for the poor air quality? Ozone. What causes it? Not animals. Not plants. Must be humans. See:

I'm not surprised they they all didn't know what each was's a mindset, and it's poor teaching and irresponsible. We are stewards of the land we live on. Treating the land that sustains us flippantly is poor stewardship, in my opinion.

Drew said...

Amen, Linda. Amen.

Kent H said...

Guys, number one, lighten up. Beck and Limbaugh are not exactly making a living by playing up to a liberal crowd. Much of what they do is for entertainment value (ala Cobert, Stewart, Maher).

But the environmental issues are significant ones. Many conservatives see much of the left-wing rhetoric about the subject as less about "stewardship" of the resources we have (a notion I wholeheartedly own) and more with another big-brother program to control the citizenry (while Pelosi pops back and forth to CA weekly at $120k a pop - outrageous). The sceince is all over the board on these issues and poor air quality is affected by a ga-zillion factors. Warmer weather being one of them. I don't know anyone who wants a dirty planet, but the "tree-hugging" wing of the dem party may just turn this into another politcal football. As long as that is the tenor, conservatives won't take any of it as seriously as you might like.


Drew said...

So what would the "tenor" and sound look like from the progressive side for conservatives to take this seriously?

And, I think the visceral dislike of Pelosi is tainting the conservative perspective. I don't really consider her, correct me if I'm wrong guys, an avid environmentalist. Gore on the other hand ... but I would suspect his Vice Presidency under Clinton carries some visceral baggage also.

Kent H said...

Pelosi not an environmentalist -- but she sure wants us to be - and she has 100 new ways to impose governmental demands that we are.

The tenor of the discussions should find substance in the science (why are there such widely varying opinions about ecology that follow along idealogical lines?). Every new possible ecological "disaster" should not be met with another 10 government programs (with accompanying tax proposals) to intercede on behalf of the weak-minded citizenry while the bureaucrats proposing said programs are among the grossest environmental sinners (ala Al Gore).

I would just appreciate a scientifically sound and intellectually honest presentation of the issues with the most consented to proposals for addressing them without hearing another bloviating politician tell me that an ozone hole over New Zealand demands more immediate intervention on the part of the lawyers in DC.


Linda said...

Hi Kent - I agree with you wholeheartedly - DC will be the last to actually "get it." Remediation to global warming belongs to corporations, those businesses that are "too big to fail." They own Washington, DC anyway.

For instance, I haven't owned a car since my last divorce (a little over a decade ago). I walk. I take public transportation, and I rent a car when I need to travel. But, I was sorely tempted to buy a car recently because of the incentives Washington offered to do so. The irony is this: how do you help to revive a dinosaur industry on one hand while talking about how to stop global warming on the other?

To fully grasp the consequences of what is happening and try to do something about it takes immediate sacrifice at the highest levels - and this isn't going to happen. So this point is this - not what Nancy Pelosi is or isn't doing, but what Limbaugh and Beck have done. I don't see them as entertainment. Neither do many other folks - I can line them up for you if you'd like to meet them.

And, I wouldn't trust the scientists. Most of those folks have agendas as well. For instance, I trust the Virginia Museum of Natural History's geologist about as far as I could throw him, especially when he talks about uranium.

Kent H said...

My only question might be, "why are the obviously satirical comments made by Beck and Limbaugh to inflame the left more of a concern to you than Queen Pelosi and Al Gore hypocritically eating through the energy while proposing more and more restrictice governmental policies on the rest of us?"

As for the rest - you are correct, grass roots, concerned life changes like yours are the only ones that matter (another reason for DC to stay out of it). If the scientists can't be trusted, I'm not sure how any of us are supposed to have an informed and well-founded opinion to support.
Thanks for the relay.


Linda said...

LOL - I guess I didn't make myself clear, Kent. I don't trust anyone in authority and I question everything they do. This includes Gore and Pelosi, Obama and Rove, Limbaugh and Maher...all of them (by 'authority' I mean in office and/OR in a position of influence).

As I said, corporate America owns Washington - which makes Washington big business, not a political entity that was intended to serve Americans.

Americans need to stay on top of local officials, because that's the only thing they can do. It really is up to the citizen, but how much of a dent can one person make against corporations? I think that depends upon how 'sold' our local officials have become on Big Business rather than on serving their constituents. And, I think that it depends on that local official's knowledge about any given situation. One person cannot know everything...which, again, boils down to who to trust in relaying that information.

Some scientists have become politicized through this process of relying on their feedback. They're as susceptible to lobbyists and agendas as anyone, IMO. Once again, the onus is on the citizens' shoulders to become better informed. With that said, I may trust scientific studies that a political party tries to suppress...such as scientific studies about global warming conducted during the Bush years that were never publicized or that were altered by that administration.

Don't get me wrong - if Obama's administration did the same thing, I would want to see those studies as well...if an administration that does not consist of scientists wants to alter a scientific study for that administration's agenda, then something is wrong with that administration, not the scientific study, IMO.

As to your point about being over-administrated in the name of global warming, let me ask you this - how many people do you know have given up their cars? How many people do you know who consciously use products that don't contain petroleum (like some shampoos, cleaners, etc?). How many people do you know who still use plastic shopping bags? Like you said, it's the small things that count...but who's doing them? Do you know them?

Education is key - but only if someone is willing to make a sacrifice to stop polluting the environment (nothing here about global warming, please note). Even so, how would you feel if you were the only one on the block with that agenda? What would you do to help others understand and know what to do?

Kent H said...

All good points. I do see a difference in emphasis though for many on the energy use and product use issues. Certain chemicals in aerosal cans have been outlawed. Water use is being curtailed by many of us. I see a lot more canvass shopping bags than I used to. And look at all the hybrid and E80 (?) fuel cars on the road. So, while it will take a lot of effort and changes, I think the concern for common sense and actually effective moves for responsibility are out there. Thanks for being one of them.